Monday, November 10, 2008

GM no more? No way

Dire news from General Motors late last week...they may run out of cash required to operate early next year. And following that gem, Deutsche Bank torpedoed GM share value by speaking the previously unspeakable. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, "Deutsche Bank said publicly today what many detractors of General Motors Inc. have been thinking for some time — the company is worthless."

Across the blogosphere glib finance types are musing that any company with a failed business plan should not be bailed out. This on the heels of US taxpayers bailing out the failed, paper pushing, speculative financial shadow economy? Puhleeeze.

To spitefully dismantle the Big Three, because they have more value in pieces shed of legacy obligations is stupid, short-sighted and heartless.The auto industry represents the last hope for heavy manufacturing in the United States. This sector could be transformed and retooled to foster new energy and transportation technologies and products.

To posit that automakers are struggling due to a failed business model is also wrong. GM, Ford and Chrysler have spent the last several years implementing brutal restructuring precisely in recognition that their business model needed transforming. What is doing them in today and tomorrow and the next day is the same global credit crisis that plagues all sectors of our economy.

So why then should the Big Three get help? Because they are our best shot at developing a national industrial policy aimed at job creation and the restoration of American manufacturing. They could form the foundation of a new manufacturing sector centered on energy efficiency and green technology. Today's automotive infrastructure was built on the arsenal of democracy that supplied the U.S. during WWII. Tomorrow's green energy economy could be built on today's infrastructure.

This is not a Michigan issue. If the Big Three go down, millions of jobs will be lost across the country in the first year, according to the Center for Automotive Research.

Should one or two or three of the Big Three go down this little recession will become big. This is not a hunch; this is a fact.

So good luck and best wishes to Gov. Granholm as she participates in the Obama Administration transition team. Make us proud, Governor.